Sonny Brandtner, who sought a seat on the West University Place City Council in 2013, threw his hat into the ring Thursday.
Brandtner filed as a candidate for city council Thursday. A former member of the Friends of West U Parks Board of Directors, Brandtner is a vice president at Robert Half International. He is a CPA.
Brandtner was born in England and lived in Austria, New Jersey and Idaho before his family settled in Alief. He graduated from Alief High School and the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in accounting.
During his candidacy two years ago, Brandtner advocated that West University Place consider separating from the Houston Independent School District and form an independent district to oversee West U Elementary School. With HISD considering limiting enrollment at West U Elementary, Brandtner could garner attention with a similar proposal.
“I am still coming up with a platform, but we need to solve that problem,” Brandtner said. “We may have to go head to head against HISD, I think a long-term plan might be our own school district. But, we may just need to put some heat on HISD to accommodate our own residents,” Brandtner said.
Brandtner said council candidates “need to talk more about some of the important issues, like our school, and traffic density.”
“We need to get past the issue that people are talking about right now, which is the land swap” between the city of West University Place and West University Baptist Church, Brandtner said.
Brandtner said that that the question of a real estate transaction between the city and the church, to allow for a long-term municipal facilities plan and a new Youth Center for the church, involved three issues — transparency, the highest and best use of the property, and the actual costs.
“I am for transparency and doing what our community wants. I think there are some issues with how it was handled,” Brandtner said. “But I do think it makes absolute sense to do something with a land swap. And the third issue is ‘what’s the cost of all this?’”
Brandtner is currently a member of the advisory board for Friends of West U Parks.